The treatment of mitral regurgitation (MR) depends on the age, severity, and type of the condition. It needs treatment; otherwise, it may get worse and can result in stroke, heart failure, and formation of blood clots that can travel to various parts of the body. This is caused by insufficient pumping of blood by the heart.
What Helps Mitral Regurgitation?
Patients of mitral regurgitation can get help from the following ways-
Lifestyle Modifications. Lifestyle modification helps a lot in chronic mild to moderate cases of mitral regurgitation. Lifestyle changes include.
- Regular exercises or a slight increase in physical activity is beneficial for the health of heart and lungs. It should be done every day or at least 150 min a week.
- Cessation of smoking improves the condition.
- Alcohol should be cut down to fetch the health of the heart.
Diet management. Diet plays an important role to ensure the health of the heart. it includes avoidance of the salt, sugar, saturated and trans fat from the diet as they can elevate the levels of cholesterol in the body leading to heart problems. Consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein and food containing omega-3 fatty acids are heart-healthy food.
Medicines. Medicines can help mitral regurgitation. Medicines are prescribed that should be run along with lifestyle modification to relieve the symptoms of mitral regurgitation. Medicines do not cure the condition but they can be used to treat the symptoms of chronic mitral regurgitation that are mild to moderate. The medicines include
- Beta-Blockers to control the abnormal heart rate
- Diuretics to manage the build of fluids and relieve the swelling in the legs and feet
- Blood Thinners to prevent clots
- Hypertension Drugs to normalize the levels of blood pressure
Surgery For Mitral Regurgitation. Surgery is needed in acute cases of mitral regurgitation or in cases where damaged happened to the mitral valve can be treated only by surgical correction. The mitral valve is either repaired or replaced. Open heart surgery is the best type of surgery to rectify the mitral valve problems. The two procedures of surgery are-
- Valve Repair. This procedure preserves the mitral valve and promotes heart function. This procedure involves patching of holes in the vale, reconnection of flaps of the valve, removal of excess tissue from the valves, replacement of the cords that support the valve and tightening of the ring around the valve.
- Valve Replacement. This procedure is recommended in the cases where there is no scope of repair of the mitral valve and it is completely damaged. The mitral valve is replaced by a mechanical valve or biological tissue valve prepared from heart tissues of cow, pig or human.
Mitral regurgitation is characterized by improper closure of the mitral valve. This causes leakage of the blood from the left ventricle into the left atrium reducing the amount of blood pumped into the aorta. This thereby reduces the levels of oxygen in the rest of the body as the left ventricle supplies oxygenated blood to the aorta. It occurs due to a heart attack, mitral valve damages or prolapse. Its symptoms are less likely to appear until the condition get worst. Its symptoms involve fainting, tiredness, chest pain, shortness of breath and many more. Lifestyle modification, medicines or surgery can help in the treatment of the condition.
The two types of mitral regurgitation are-
- Acute Mitral Regurgitation – it develops quickly and suddenly that can be serious and life-threatening. It demands immediate treatment.
- Chronic Mitral Regurgitation – its onset is slow and usually mild in nature which remains unnoticeable for a long time. Its symptoms get worse slowly.
Mitral regurgitation is a condition characterized by the backflow of the blood in the left chambers of the heart. It causes extra stress on the heart to pump blood. Healthy lifestyle, medications and surgical correction or replacement of the mitral valve can help in mitral regurgitation.